People often don’t realize the high toll losing a local company exacts in smaller, more rural, communities in terms of reduced employment and economic vitality. Losses like this can take years from which to recover.
Hastings (pop. 25,058) not only faced this daunting reality, but with a company that had made its home here since 1910. You can bet that the sale of Hastings Equity Grain Bin Mfg Co. was on the minds and lips of pretty much everyone in town. Imagine the enormous collective sigh of relief when Dutton-Lainson, another longstanding company with deep roots dating back to 1886, stepped forward.
Most of Hastings Equity’s business came from orders of plastic and galvanized steel livestock tanks, but also bale feeders, gates and panels, grain aeration tubing, rain barrels and customized fabricated metal products. Dutton-Lainson is a leading manufacturer of quality products for marine, agricultural, industrial, and automotive markets worldwide.
A Community Development Block Grant enabled this expansion by providing $705,000 to Dutton-Lainson, with an additional $5 million coming from Dutton-Lainson and Heritage Bank.
Dutton-Lainson not only acquired the company’s entire assets, including its 153,000 sq. ft. facility, but hired about 30 Hastings Equity Grain Bin employees. The company, which projected the need for additional employees in the not-so-distant-future, retained the Hastings Equity Grain Bin name and product lines—a move that demonstrated the mutual respect and long-time standing of two of Hastings most stellar corporate citizens.
Dave Rippe, Executive Director of the Hastings Economic Development Corporation, who was involved with the project, describes how the combination of this grant and local business is a great mix. “The Dutton-Lainson Company has been an integral part of the Hastings community for over 125 years. Using the Community Development Block Grant program, we have been able to meaningfully participate in helping this company to bring new jobs to Hastings and to better position themselves to continue to do business in Hastings for the next 125 years.”